OPELOUSAS — The felony accusations against former St. Landry Parish Registrar of Voters John Moreau made headlines in early 2014, when he was arrested in January and again in February on allegations of stalking a former girlfriend and vandalizing her vehicle.
But both cases died on Dec. 4. The end result: Moreau was never charged with a crime, and his criminal case file was wiped clean of arrest and court records.
District Attorney Earl Taylor said Friday the cases against Moreau were dropped because the woman who accused him wanted them dismissed.
“She didn’t want to go through with it,” Taylor said.
The victim, St. Landry Parish Courthouse employee Susan Gerace, did not return a message left at her office Friday morning. On Friday afternoon, another courthouse employee said Gerace wasn’t there.
The Moreau drama became public in January 2014 when he was accused of damaging Gerace’s car in the parking lot of the courthouse. The building, which covers an entire block, has many windows that gave courthouse employees a clear view of Moreau allegedly keying her car and flattening her tires. The witnesses told police the vandalism occurred on multiple occasions over a period of months. Gerace told Opelousas police Moreau started to damage her SUV after she broke off an affair the pair was having.
Then in February 2014, Moreau was arrested accused of stalking Gerace by leaving letters and women’s panties in her mailbox, inside the doorway of her home and in her backyard. He was accused of leaving letters with and without panties at Gerace’s home on five occasions in late 2013 and early 2014.
“Susan (Gerace) found the content of the letters to be offensive, insulting and degrading,” the arrest report, written by sheriff’s Detective James Bergeron, states.
The accusations against Moreau were startling in St. Landry Parish. Before he resigned in early 2014, Moreau had been registrar of voters for almost three decades. He inherited the job, which is an appointed position, from his mother, Ruby Moreau, who also had been the registrar for decades before she retired in 1985.
“The young man was a likable young man,” Taylor said. “I was absolutely surprised when he was arrested.”
In the months following both of Moreau’s arrests, criminal proceedings went nowhere.
“We could have billed (charged) him. But we have a procedure,” Taylor said. “Once we have the file, we have a screening attorney (who) then reviews it and makes an recommendation.
“I don’t know where in the process it was” when it was dismissed, he said.
Taylor said no one in his office put pressure on Gerace to drop the case.
Moreau also apparently had his case file expunged after the matter was dropped; there are no records available to the public on Moreau’s case at the St. Landry Parish Clerk of Court’s Office. Copies were made available to The Acadiana Advocate by a source who asked not to be named.
Taylor said Moreau must have asked to have the records expunged, and it was Moreau’s right to wipe the slate clean after the case was dropped.
Efforts to contact Moreau this past week were unsuccessful. Numbers listed in the court records and in residential listings for Moreau were either disconnected or changed to nonpublished numbers.
Moreau, 54, lives in Arnaudville, and, according to court files, he’s now retired.